With Arcimoto’s patented tilting trike and built on the platform of the Lightning LS 218, the new electric trike will look to set the record for fastest three-wheel motorcycle at Bonneville.
Arcimoto, (NASDAQ: FUV), the makers of the FUV fun-utility-vehicle, announced a collaboration with Lightning Motorcycles with the goal of developing the fastest tilting three-wheel motorcycle in the world. Using its patented Tilting Motor Works TRiO tilting trike technology, Arcimoto will build together with Lightning motorcycles, and on the LS-218 platform, a trike that can beat the standing world record for 3-wheeled motorcycle – gas or electric.
“From the moment I met Richard Hatfield and saw the Lightning for myself at Bonneville, I knew there was the potential to create an electric trike unlike anything in the history of motorcycles, ”
“This will be the first time we outfit an electric bike with the TRiO kit, and it certainly won’t be the last, as we drive toward a sustainable future faster than ever before.”Bob Mighell, Arcimoto’s Chief Tilting Officer.
Bob Mighell, Arcimoto’s Chief Tilting Officer, also broke the land-speed record himself, for 3-wheeled motorcycles at the 2013 Motorcycle Speed Trials held at Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
The LS-218 started setting records and getting a lot of attention before market introduction. In 2012, it ran a 218 mph run, with a record average speed of 215 mph. That record had since been beaten by Voxan Wattman, but in a fashion similar to Jaguar naming, the LS-218 received its name for the speed at the lights. It also took 1st place in Pikes Peak in 2013 with a 20 seconds lead on 2nd place, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans’ FIM EPower championship. With all those wins the LS-218 had a lot of attention well before it was formally introduced in 2014 and later followed with the Lightning Strike in 2019.
“As the world’s leading manufacturer of high performance electric motorcycles, we are excited to bring our technology and know-how to the collaboration with Arcimoto for the three-wheel market. The convergence of our proprietary technology, the market adoption of EVs, and the widely recognized environmental benefits of clean energy propulsion make this an excellent and exciting time to bring these vehicles to the mass market,”
“Our vision is to see Lightning’s electric motorcycles provide performance-oriented and environmentally conscious transportation, as well as adrenaline inducing fun, for both new and experienced riders all over the world. This collaboration amplifies our vision. It’s an honor to build the first electric bike outfitted with the TRiO alongside ‘Bonneville Bob Mighell,’ who has proven throughout his career that trikes can, and should, fly.”Richard Hatfield, Founder and CEO of Lightning Motorcycles.
Arcimoto’s Tilting Motor Works TRiO offers a tilting three-wheel conversion kit for touring motorcycles. TRiO allows a natural lean-to-steer system, with high performance while increasing safety and stability. Another offering for the TRiO kits include the TiltLock leveling system, which brings bike back to stand up position by itself when stopped at lights or in traffic. It will likely be used in tandem when attempting the world record, as the bike would need to keep the upright position while going extremely fast.
“This collaboration is something that could only happen between two legendary speed demons of Bonneville,” “While Plaid-level performance has never been a part of the Arcimoto narrative, proving our tilting trike technology beyond ludicrous speed will give us, and our customers, added comfort that our future micromobility solutions are stable under the most demanding conditions. Further this first adaptation of the TRiO for an electric motorcycle is in full alignment with Arcimoto’s mission to catalyze sustainable, emissions-free mobility.”Mark Frohnmayer, Arcimoto Founder and CEO.
The first prototype collaboration trike is expected to be unveiled at the “FUV and Friends Summer Showcase”. The event will take place at the Portland International Raceway on July 26. Pricing and availability of the TRiO Kit for the Lightning LS 218 will be announced further down the line.
This sounds like a great project, Arcimoto has a very clear path to becoming a leader in electric trike technology, and they seem to have an aim at making their vehicles performance machines.
There are some question marks that come to mind. There are already many uncertainties in any startup, and with the impact of covid worldwide even more startups faced difficulties. Back in November of 2020, we wanted to fully understand what is going on with Lightning motorcycles. At that point in time, a report on RideApart.com by Sabrina Giacomini, raised serious concerns on the motorcycle safety, mismatching performance specification and lack of transparency with delivery numbers.
Reaching out to Lightning was as simple as contacting Richard through their website. Back then, we conducted a full length interview with Richard and Jojo Hatfield, cross interviewed other people familiar with the story, and went back to follow up with Richard at Lightning – who was happy to address any point.
The company had changed location of their facility and now operate from Mike Corbin’s facility in Hollister CA. With no sales numbers, very few known owners of the Lightning motorcycles models and with safety concerns raised, there was some skepticism surrounding the company. We made the decision to keep that interview archived as we could not come to a conclusion whether these concerns and questions are just side effects of the rough year of 2020, or they are rooted in deeper problems.
We would love to see the Lighting bikes homologated as OEM, rather then ‘Custom Bikes’, and internationally distributed, but it does appear that to do that, Lightning will need to address some concerns first.